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PHOENIX -- Arizona voters have rejected a ballot measure for a permanent sales tax increase.

The one-cent increase would have effectively replaced a temporary sales tax increase that voters approved in 2010 amid a state budget crisis. The temporary increase expires in mid-2013.

The measure would have required that the money be used to increase funding for education, highway projects and social programs. Education backers and other supporters of the measure got it on the ballot for Tuesday's general election through an initiative campaign.

Supporters said the tax increase is a way to provide funding for priorities neglected by the Legislature, while opponents said a tax increase isn't necessary and that the added tax burden would stifle the economy.

Associated Press,

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